Our first winter sports season as part of the MIAC was fun, to say the least! The bowling teams had one of the best seasons in recent memory. The boys basketball team came within two games of a conference championship. We joined a cooperative with Ann Arbor Huron and Milan to add ice hockey and continued our cooperative with Ann Arbor Greenhills and Father Gabriel Richard for swimming. The wrestling team had two All-State wrestlers, including Lily Wilson, who became the first-ever All-State female wrestler in school history! Competitive cheer advanced to Regionals, and the girls basketball team won their first conference championship in over 20 years!
The competitive cheer team, composed of very hardworking and talented athletes, had an extremely successful season. They placed first at the Holly, Saline, and home invitational. The team qualified for the regional championship for the first time in many years. The team’s highest overall scores came at the end of the season, in both the Districts and Regionals competitions.
Although the team will be losing a great senior member in Abbigail Fraga, everyone else will be returning. This is a young team with a promising future, and we look forward to seeing what they accomplish next year.
1st Team All-Conference: Samantha Ogden and Emme Cloutier
2nd Team All-Conference: Abbigail Fraga
All-District 1st Team: Samantha Ogden and Emme Cloutier
All-District 2nd Team: Abbigail Fraga and Erin Carr
All-District Honorable Mention: Jamie Meadows and Kimberlee Ventura
All-Region Honorable Mention: Samantha Ogden
Individual Academic All-State (3.8 GPA or higher): Abbigail Fraga and Samantha Ogden
The boys basketball season was a season of new starts including a new league and new team leaders. The top three statistical leaders from last season graduated, offering new opportunities for returning players to fill those roles. League play started after Christmas break providing the Trojans with much-needed time to gel as a group. At the start of the season, they were competitive but struggled to put together complete games. Their record going into January was 1-5. The boys rallied through league play and won the next six of seven games. They played Roeper at home in late February for first place in the league but came up short. They did, however, finish the regular season winning two of its last three games before falling to Arbor Prep in Districts. They finished the year 9 -12 and third in league play. Overall, the team had some outstanding performances throughout the year. They came together, competed as a team, and were a fun group to watch.
1st Team All-Conference: Brendan Ely
2nd Team All-Conference: Gareth Romine and Zach Brady
Conference Dream Team (top 5 players): Brendan Ely
This year was about a new league, a new coach, and new expectations. Seniors Paige Everard, Eveliina Taylor, Rylee Phillips, Catherine Romine, Erin Berg, and Alissa Lund were excited to leave their final mark on the girls basketball program and excited about the talent coming in from underclassmen. The team was also looking forward to the opportunity to compete in the new MIAC conference.
The girls opened up the season with back-to-back wins versus Melvindale and new conference foe Parkway Christian. After a road loss to Ann Arbor Greenhills, the team was on an 11-game win streak heading into a game at Little Caesars Arena versus a talented Plymouth Christian Academy team. After running out to an 11-0 lead, the team went cold but managed to hold a three-point lead at the half. They struggled offensively in the second half and eventually lost a very competitive game by 12. The girls were able to shake off the second loss on the season and win the next five games to finish the regular season 18-2.
Next, they set their sights on what they referred to as season #2, the District Tournament. After receiving a bye in the opening round, they drew Charyl Stockwell Prep Academy in the semi-final. After executing their game plan perfectly, a 67-8 victory propelled them to the District Championship vs. a very talented Arbor Prep. Though they battled to the final buzzer, they fell to the gators to end the dream season.
With an overall record of 19-3, the girls had the best season since 1979 (also winning the first conference championship since 1979). Every stat could be listed to show what an excellent season the girls had. But what doesn’t show up in the stat sheet is how hard this team worked all season to earn every one of those incredible statistics.
“I’m simply proud of this team. Regardless of the situation, they have responded the same. With absolute class. Such a hardworking, selfless group. I learned a lot and will have great memories with this team. This team accomplished a lot, and they know that. 19 wins are amazing, and I’m humbled to have been a part of the process. I look forward to what the future holds for these Trojans” – Coach Brad McCormack
1st Team All-Conference: Paige Everard, Kristina Peach, and Brooke Craven
2nd Team All-Conference: Eveliina Taylor
Conference Dream Team (top 5 players in the conference): Kristina Peach and Brooke Craven
Conference Most Valuable Player: Kristina Peach
Conference Coach of the Year: Brad McCormack
Individual Academic All-State (3.8 and above): Eveliina Taylor, Paige Everard, and Catherine Romine
Team GPA: 3.4
Boys bowling saw great gains in personal and team bowling averages. Season highlights came when they defeated Pittsford 25 to 5 in January and Clinton 20 to 10 in February. The boys concluded the season with a fabulous 8th place at Regionals. The team’s averages increased with their high bowlers, Aidan Jaski-Kuehnel, Sebastian Adams, Kohl Majesky, and Cole Henning, and a freshman surprise high bowler, William Cryer.
Girls bowling also saw great gains in personal and team bowling averages this year. Each game, the girls formed a tighter bond and demonstrated how much they enjoy the sport. Kayla Bachman used her steady demeanor to lead the team as Madalyn Cryer, Juliana Hasty, Donna Duncan, and Brooke McGee grew with her guidance.
Whitmore Lake, along with Milan, and Ann Arbor Huron got together to create a cooperative to make ice hockey happen in 2020. And although there wasn’t the success in the wins and loss columns, there were three school communities that came together and worked toward a common goal of building and developing a program to be proud of.
FreshmanBraylan Majesky, who took home the award for the most improved player, and sophomore Max McCully both played vital roles on the team. We look forward to how they will continue to grow and develop as hockey players and young men to help this program move forward and lead next year’s squad.
The varsity swim team (a cooperative with Ann Arbor Greenhills and Father Gabriel Richard) had a great season this year! Jackson Ellinger, while also playing on the JV basketball team, dropped two seconds in his 50-yard freestyle at the Catholic League Meet to finish out the season, in addition to swimming on the 400 free relay. Lindsay Francis, co-captain as a sophomore, had a great start to her season. However, an unfortunate injury led to an early end. Lindsay will be reprising her role as co-captain next year, after being a consistent presence and source of motivation for the team even though she couldn’t be in the pool. Most improved this season was Tanner Kurtz, who dropped five seconds in the 50-yard freestyle, nine seconds in the 100-yard freestyle, and got the chance to swim the 500-yard freestyle on the finals day of the Catholic League meet. Not bad for his first year as a competitive swimmer!
Last season, the idea was brought up that while the team was made up of student-athletes from three different schools, they came together to make one team. This season, they brought that mindset to life, and we can’t wait to see what next season holds. #threeschoolsoneteam
The wrestling team experienced growth in numbers and victories this season. The team grew from only five wrestlers last year to 11 this season. The overall record improved drastically, going from 2-15 last season to 10-12 this season. While 10-12 may not seem too impressive, it is quite an accomplishment considering they only field half of a varsity lineup. Even without a full team, they were able to defeat Royal Oak Shrine in the district semifinals but fell to Lutheran Westland in the championship.
The team had some historic individual success this year as well. Lillian Wilson became the first female wrestler ever for Whitmore Lake to place in the MWA (Michigan Wrestling Association) Girls Wrestling State Championships. Lily fought her way to a sixth-place finish this year as just a sophomore and will look to further her success in the next two years. Freshman Jace Garcia qualified for Regionals but was unable to advance after dropping both of his matches. Rob Cann and Scott Cann both placed in the top four in the MHSAA Regional tournament and qualified for the individual MHSAA State Finals. Rob competed hard and was just one point away from being All-State as just a freshman. Scott had a tough draw as he faced the state runner-up in his first match and fell but fought back through the bracket and claimed seventh place and All-State honors as a junior.
Without any seniors wrestling this year, this team is young and all members plan on returning next year. Pair this with the fact that almost every wrestler on the team had a winning record, we expect the team to be strong for seasons to come.
All-State: Lily Wilson (6th place at the state meet)
All-State: Scott Cann (7th place at the state meet)
As the winter sports season is complete, we can now reflect on and celebrate the amazing accomplishments of the student-athletes of Whitmore Lake High School! With the current uncertainty of Spring sports due to Covid-19, I wanted to share the following in hopes of trying to view our current situation differently.
“When things don’t go as expected, when the ball does not bounce your way, when it looks like all is lost, the best way to respond is with one word: GOOD. It might sound odd but when you think about it for a little bit, it makes sense. What are we supposed to do, sit around and feel sorry for ourselves? What a wasted emotion. GOOD that we are facing something that we have never faced before, GOOD that we are going to have to do things differently, GOOD that my emphasis in life might change a bit and because of that, my life may just become better.” – Brian Cain
The thought of potentially losing spring sports presents a potential loss for all of our student-athletes, seniors in particular, and all Trojan sports fans. Trust me, I’m right there with all of you. I hope that when we are ready to see the opportunity situations like this present, the quote brings us comfort, helps shift our mindset and reminds us all, today will be a great day to be a Trojan.